Ladies, Grin and Bear It!

By Staff
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shares the story of how her husband Dick bought and restored this 1953 Farmall Super MD in 'Ladies, Grin and Bear It.'

P.O. BOX 1487, Dudley, Massachusetts 01571

Once upon a time there was a happy little family on their way
out West to visit their friend Mongoose Jimmy. Baby Bear Roanne
usually determined when and where we ate, as baby bears aren’t
very good at waiting once they’ve decided it’s time. But
that was okay, we needed to fuel up anyway.

We settled into a table and a happy face came over to wait on
us. The people out there are so friendly and pleasant, always have
a minute to chat with you. Soon we are engaged in a delectable
meal. However, I noticed my husband’s gaze out the window was
getting more intense. Across from the restaurant was a small repair
shop with several pieces of equipment that had caught his
attention. Quickly he finished his meal and announced he would be
right back, but told us to take our time. Which was fine with me
because with baby bear Roanne and medium bear Carl, you don’t
have much choice.

Papa Bear Dick returned all excited about some old relic, oh
excuse me, a precious gem, diamond in the rough, he had discovered.
The owner wasn’t there, but was expected shortly.

There was a nice big parking lot, that’s another interesting
thing about the West; there’s so much more room. Maybe
that’s why the people are more relaxed you don’t have to
worry about stepping on someone’s toes all the time. Anyway, it
was a perfect place for baby bears to run around and get

After my domestic duties were tended to I toddled off to inspect
this rare find. At first I questioned my husband’s enthusiasm.
Obviously this vintage piece was on its way to the killer pen with
several parts already plucked and the engine was very stuck. But
Dick had never been able to afford one back when he was farming and
it was love at first sight. He liked her nice straight lines. It
was a Super MD Farmall.

The owner had returned and it was a delight to meet him. His
personality was as colorful as his name depicted. Soon a deal was
struck and the daring feat of loading began. (Rule #1: for vintage
collectors, never leave home without your trailer. Thankfully we
learned this sometime ago.) Of course the Super MD had to be towed
and Dick found it quite a challenge to maneuver his new love with a
pair of vice grips clamped onto the steering post, as there was no
steering wheel. There were quite a few obstacles to get around
before he got to the trailer. Of course, there were no brakes.

I’m not sure, but I think this was supposed to be a tinned
event. I’m judging this from the rate of speed at which the
feat was accomplished. The actual loading of the tractor went quite
smoothly. I have witnessed this phenomenon many times. Always hold
your breath, say a prayer and be thankful it gets accomplished
without someone getting killed. Being an equipment operator
I’ve seen about everything that can go wrong happen. If someone
ever asks you to help load on a wet trailer, go bury your head in
the sand! You don’t even want to watch, never mind help.

Now with ‘Lovey’ all loaded onto the trailer he could
give back the borrowed front tire and bring his prize home. So-o-o
for the next year I competed with Lovey for attention. And poor
Lovey really needed attention, she’d been quite unloved for

Dick overhauled the engine, gave her a new clutch and oil seals,
new brakes and seals, new bearings and seals in the bearing box. He
put back the original narrow front end as she came with an adapted
H wide front, new wiring harness, steering wheel and of course
topped it off with four new tires. Now he could start on the
cosmetics, new paint, new seat, shiny this ‘n’ that. Wow!
That’s got to be true love.

Of course, I don’t feel I’ve ever gotten a full
confession on the amount of money Dick spent on Lovey. Women do get
a little testy over such things. But I can appreciate a fine piece
of equipment.

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